Murray Ross

Obituary of Murray Miller Ross

Hours after spending a morning with his family, watching the Canada junior hockey team defeat Finland in the World Junior Hockey Championship, Murray Miller Ross, 79, decided he was ‘outta here’. After a long and brave journey dealing with several complex health issues, spending Christmas with his family, and staying home until his last few hours, he passed away at the Palliative Care Unit at PRHC.

Murray was born on November 20, 1944. As the 5th generation of Rosses on the family farm, Murray and his brother, Grant, spent most of their time having adventures, riding horses and chasing chickens. After high school, Murray went to see the World (World= Peterborough and Oshawa) working at General Motors and De Laval. 18 months was more than enough of the big city life for him and without hesitation he returned to the family dairy farm where he milked cows until his retirement in 2002. His best Holstein cow, “Rossland Astro Kat,” winning the All American All Canadian Grand Championship made him very proud, in a quiet and humble, Murray-way.  

After selling the cows in 2002, retirement did not last long for Murray; actually, it never even started. He continued to train standardbred racehorses and raised sheep. He was happy as far as there was some manure to fork, hay to bale, or fences to mend. Murray had a lifelong passion for horses and chickens. 2 of his horses were award winning 2-year-old standardbreds: Placemat in 1975 in Ontario and Invitro in 2004 in Canada. 10 days after his quintuple bypass surgery he was back at driving horses, because “those doctors don’t know what they are talking about, they just needed a make-work project”.  

Each spring he hatched about 100 more chickens than he should have. When he finally agreed to downsize and sold 6 chickens, you knew that he had also purchased 8 new ones on the same trip. Murray’s father, Keith, and him had endless varieties of heritage “fancy chickens”, and both coordinated the chicken exhibition at the Norwood Fair for decades. As a lifelong volunteer of the fair, Murray taught his family how to serve our community. Following the footsteps of his father, he served as fair president in 1992-1993 and was proud to see his son do the same years later.

As a devoted Detroit Red Wings fan, he passed down his love for the team and for the game, and, more importantly, his dislike of the Toronto Maple Leafs to his kids and grandkids. His useful tips before hockey games to his grandkids (“if you can’t catch them, trip em”) continues to help them in their hockey endeavors.  

Murray married Pat in 1973 and raised 2 cow-milking, teat-dipping, stone-picking, hockey-playing, manure-pitching, grass-cutting, cow-washing, chicken-catching, rat-killing, hay bale-tossing, mow-building, racoon-dragging, bottle-feeding, chore kids. With life on the farm came a strong work ethic, an appreciation of family and friends and more kittens, dogs, horses, calves, chickens, ducks, peacocks, geese, other feathered creatures and let’s face it…  rats, then one can imagine.

Murray is survived and will be missed by his loving wife Pat, his sons, Steve (Hajni) and Greg (Melissa), his grandchildren Lora, Quinten, Molly, Daniel and Keith, his brother Grant (Marion), his niece Megan (Greg), nephew Brent (Jen), brother-in-law Chuck, and other relatives. He cherished his farming community and friends who popped over announced or unannounced to sit on the edge of a tractor bucket or on a hay bale in the barn to share local gossip in a way that would put any teenage girl to shame.  

Murray leaves behind , wanted or not,  96,000 fair ribbons, 56 random auction sale chairs (purchased for $1 each), 78 chicken coops, 2 dozen tool boxes, 43 extension cords, the knowledge of the location of every item in Boyles feed store, 5 racoon traps,  6 whippletrees that no one knows what to do with, 3 pairs of duck boots, enough pocket knives to outfit an army (all buried in various manure piles), and enough power tools to supply 2 Home Hardware stores. Part of his estate includes 66 chickens that the family is willing to share (Please wait the appropriate amount of time to place your order).

A funeral service will be held in the Millenium Room at the Asphodel-Norwood Community Centre at 1 pm on Saturday, December 30th, 2023 followed by a reception 2 pm- 4 pm. 

Murray loved and served his community and was a recent volunteer at the Norwood Ministerial Food bank. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to the Asphodel-Norwood Ministerial Foodbank, Hospice Norwood, or the charity of your choice, and may be made by contacting THE HENDREN FUNERAL HOMES, Norwood CHAPEL, 36 Queen Street, Norwood at or by calling 705-639-5322.